It's not about seeing glasses as half full or half empty. It is so true that Barça is going through its first major crisis in the game and that despite that it was able to achieve a creditable victory against a team as rocky as Valencia. Meritorious and necessary after the setback suffered in Vitoria because, in addition, it allows us to establish ourselves as second in a Euroleague in which everyone seems to be starting to wake up.
Barça seemed to want to complete a quick catharsis after Vitoria's nightmare in a first quarter in which their dominance became indisputable. Vesely, always himself, began adding points with his innate ease. Laprovittola guaranteed good shots with his passes and the Czech lifted Palau. The game was being more difficult than usual, with some ugly fouls and countless television reviews of the referees – someone must make them watch it. But Grimau's team seemed to be going their way and an additional basket and shot by Abrines certified that good start (24-13, m9).
But the first break was a kind of stone that fell on the game and threatened to take it away, with minutes of incomprehensible basketball, unworthy of a competition as wonderful as the Euroleague. Valencia managed more comfortably in that scenario of few points and total anarchy, which allowed them to gradually reduce differences. Barça showed no signs of anything, forgetting to move the ball, determined to shoot from outside as if it were an obligation, going into the break with a 1/15 in triples that was frightening. It ended with a 5/30 that says it all.
Luckily for everyone, the game regained a certain tone after the break, with the forces already equal, with Valencia even momentarily assuming command with a sublime first minute (37-38). But Barça rescued the board and went back to playing basketball. Even Jabari Parker scored a triple, ending fourteen consecutive errors from beyond the arc. But no one in the Palau was aware that it was going to be a tough and long duel, in the broadest sense of the word, and that there was a lot of battle left to fight.
The last act began with a lot of tension and little success, but Barça, as they are showing how to do this year, kept their nerve despite their lack of success and waited for their moment. A pair of triples from Abrines and Kalinic propelled a 10-0 lead to make it 68-60 with 2m42s left that seemed to decide the game. But Valencia fought back one last time and forced the Blaugrana to win again, a victory that was only certified 7 seconds from the last horn.